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286 miles S of San Antonio; 366 miles SW of Houston; 531 miles S of Dallas; 815 miles SE of El Paso

South Padre Island is a true resort town, with about 3,000 year-round residents, and an influx of several thousand more when the winter chill sends northerners south in search of sunshine and warmth. Watersports are a major draw, from powerboating, sailing, and windsurfing to bay, surf, and deep-sea fishing. And some of us simply want to relax on the beach, allowing the gentle murmur of the water to soothe our senses and wash away the stress of this hectic modern world. More energetic visitors can also bicycle, play tennis and golf, and go horseback riding. Birding is as popular here as in other areas of South Texas, with more than 300 species.

The sunsets are grand, reflecting in the water of the Laguna Madre, and many restaurants capitalize on their location with outdoor seating. Set your taste buds to enjoy fresh seafood of all kinds prepared in a variety of seasonings -- Italian to Mexican, broiled to deep-fried. And if you catch your own, some restaurants will be happy to cook it for you (the ones that do advertise it).

The town of South Padre Island stretches along 25 miles of sand on the southern tip of Padre Island just across the Laguna Madre from the mainland, and the small town of Port Isabel. Easily accessible by plane into nearby cities, it has become a favored place for conventions. Conventions here are usually small affairs and don't really cause the traveler any inconvenience, but beware spring break when hordes of college students invade the town and raise a ruckus.

View of South Padre Island at duskFrom Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Padre Island is the world's longest barrier island along the coast of South Texas. The island is some 130 miles (210 kilometers) long, stretching from the city of Corpus Christi in the north to the town of Port Isabel in the south. The island is oriented generally north-south, with the Gulf of Mexico on the east, and Laguna Madre on the west. The island's northern end connects to Mustang Island by roadway. The southern end of the island is separated from Brazos Island by the Brazos Santiago Pass.

The island as a whole is sparsely populated; that said, the towns of South Padre Island and Port Isabel are located at its southern end. The central part of the island is preserved in a natural wild state as Padre Island National Seashore. Since 1964, the island has been divided by the artificial Port Mansfield Channel, and as a result, "North Padre Island" and "South Padre Island" are often used to refer to the separate portions of the island. Padre Island is located in Cameron, Kennedy, Kleberg, Nueces, and Willacy counties.

Padre Island is young in geological terms, having formed only in the last several thousand years.

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